Robin van Persie opened up on how his versatility led to Jurgen Klopp giving him the greatest compliment of his career.
Van Persie caught Klopp’s eye during a Champions League group stage match between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal in September 2011.
The newly-retired Dutch striker fired home Theo Walcott’s through ball to put Arsenal into the lead before Ivan Perisic’s late volley salvaged a 1-1 draw for Dortmund in Germany.
After the match, then-BVB coach Klopp paid Van Persie a compliment for his versatility.
“Jurgen Klopp has given me the nicest of compliments, saying ‘I’ve never seen a player playing in three positions at the same time,” Van Persie told Voetbal International.
“I fell back in the game, went on the wings, was in front.
“The team adapted to my playing style, they’ve played for me so that’s the only reason I scored the goal and delivered an outstanding performance.”
Van Persie scored 37 goals in 48 appearances during the 2011/12 season in what turned out to be his final one for Arsenal.
The former Netherlands international completed a €30m transfer to Manchester United, where he won the Premier League title at the first attempt.
Following a spell in Tukey at Fenerbahce, Van Persie returned to boyhood club Feyenoord in 2015 and retired this month.
On the other hand, Klopp has been in charge of Liverpool since October 2015. Following three cup final defeats, the German is hoping to claim his first trophy for the club in next Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham.
Klopp also came agonisingly to winning the Premier League for Liverpool this season only to miss out by a single point to champions Manchester City.
“They play with four at the back and before that two blocks of three and those two blocks constantly cover each other at the back,” said Van Persie on Klopp’s Liverpool team.
“It’s nice to see how that works together, there must be heaps of work, there is no other way.
“They have to trust each other, those players. If one goes, the others must be at his back, and another at his back.
“For Klopp, it must also be cool to see that his philosophy is really in that team.”